Into The Woods

An all-star cast lead this adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning Broadway musical, but will I be singing its praises?

To lift an infertility curse a baker and his wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt) are set a challenge to bring four items to the  witch who put the curse on them (Meryl Streep). Their task intertwines with the tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), who are all wishing for their lives to change. But as the saying goes, they should be careful what they wish for.

I haven’t had a movie song stuck in my head this much since The Lego Movie’s Everything is Awesome, unfortunately while the title song Into The Woods starts off fun and entertaining it soon becomes a bit boring and irritating as it goes on far too long. Much like the film itself.

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh but at 124 minutes this movie is much too long. The first half of the movie is fine. Corden and Blunt are sweet as the Baker and his wife, and Blunt has a lovely singing voice. The film looks great and I love the costume, especially Johnny Depp’s wolf costume. Speaking of Depp, he is a lot of fun as The Wolf, but his role is basically a glorified cameo. I liked Cinderella’s story with Kendrick being as likeable as ever and Chris Pine is hilarious as her charming Prince. His duet with his brother (Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel’s Prince) is one of the highlights of the movie. And Meryl Streep is, well Meryl Streep-what else needs to be said she’s great.

Ok so Little Red Riding Hood and Jack are fairly annoying and Rapunzel disappears halfway through the movie making her character a bit redundant. But for the most part the first half is enjoyable enough.

However just as it seems the movie is reaching its natural conclusion when characters reach their happy ever after, the film then goes on for an extra half hour or so. I’m not against fairy tales having a darker side, in fact I enjoy that kind of thing (such as earlier in the movie when the Stepmother uses unusual techniques to get her daughters to fit into the glass slipper). But this ‘darker’ half of the movie just fell rather flat for me. The fun and humour from the first half disappears and the second half never feels as bold or subversive as the movie wishes it was. Perhaps its due to the changes from the original stage version, where some of the darker moments are cut from the film.

Rating 3/5 – a good first part gives way to a duller ‘darker’ second half that outstays it welcome

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Into The Woods

  1. Pity! Sounded an original idea in premise and a neat cast.

  2. It’s fun, light and happy for the longest time. And then it gets dark. But it still works, I must say. Good review Lauren.

  3. You’re not being too harsh. A movie should be VERY special to merit 124 minutes!! I hate overly long movies.

    Great review Lauren 🙂

    • Glad to hear its not just me who gets annoyed with films that are too long. I feellike all I complain about on my posts is the length of movies. 🙂

      • Snap, me too!

        I just think there are very few movies that NEED to be over 90 minutes! Even great movies you think….they could have cut a bit out.

        Maybe we’re just fidgets?! 🙂

  4. V

    Agreed again, this was far too long for me. It’s natural conclusion felt much, much earlier than when it actually came, and following that I found myself a little impatient for it to finish. I like the darker side to fairytales, but the ending felt a bit tacked on and out of place.

    (Sorry for the comment spam!)

    • I don’t mind-keep the comments coming! 🙂
      I feel like I constantly complain about movies being too long but in this case it was completely true. Such a shame cause if it had ended earlier it could have been much more enjoyable.

      • V

        I know exactly what you mean. Films, in general, have lengthened by quite a bit of late. It’s not always a bad thing, but sometimes I miss the 1hr30m running times. Especially if there isn’t any real need story-wise to stretch it further than that.

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